England stun Olympic champions Germany 4-1
Posted on: 01:43 PM IST Dec 02, 2012
Melbourne: England pulled off a stunning upset by hammering Olympic champions Germany 4-1 in the Champions Trophy hockey tournament here Sunday, in an encounter that featured two self-goals. Four-time defending champions Australia were held to a goalless draw by Olympic silver medalists Netherlands, while Pakistan scored twice in the second session to prevail 2-0 over Belgium.
The victory for England, six of whose players played their maiden international games yesterday in the 1-3 loss to India, was their first against Germany in Champions Trophy. The Germans played with 10 men for the last 15 minutes after Niklas Grell was sent off following his second yellow card of the match, which automatically got converted into a red card. Trailing by two goals and one player short on the pitch, this marked the end of Germany's comeback hopes.
Both England and Germany have included several youngsters in their teams for this tournament, but the Germans were surprised to be trailing from the sixth minute of the game when Adam Dixon opened the account for England with a flash strike for only his third international goal. Four minutes later, Harry Martin increased the English lead by applying the finishing touch to a fine move.
Germany benefitted from an own-goal by England in the 14th minute, reducing the lead. Self goals have been allowed in world hockey only after the Olympic Games. Another self-goal, this time at the German end of the pitch, in the 33rd minute gave England a 3-1 lead at half-time. The Germans showed desperation in the second half, but failed to breach the English defence and a series of cards were flashed at players of both the teams before Grell was sent off the pitch.
England utilised the advantage to score a late field goal through Darren Cheesman in the 61st minute to round off the scoring. Both Germany and England now have three points from two matches in Pool A. In a Pool B match, Netherlands goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann produced an outstanding show to deny the Australian strikers in their 0-0 draw that left both teams on four points from two outings.
Pakistan are placed third in Pool B on three points from their first win, while Belgium, who are making their Champions Trophy debut here, have lost both their matches. Nippy striker Haseem Khan put Pakistan ahead with a 56th minute rising shot against the Belgians, whose defensive game allowed Pakistan to dominate the contest. Pakistan continued to create chances but failed to score again until the 69th minute when Shafqat Rasool found the target after Belgium had taken off the goalkeeper to make a last-gasp effort to equalise.